The Baikal teal, also known as Formosa Teal or Spectacled Teal, is a migratory species, which breeds in central and eastern Siberia, winters in China, Japan & Korea. Occasionally wanders to the Aleutian Islands and Alaska and has been reported as far south as California. Birds seen elsewhere in North America are more than likely escaped aviary birds.
The breeding plumage of the adult male is unmistakable and very ornamental. It is similar and closely related to the Green-winged Teal, although slightly larger. The top of the head is dark brown to black, with buff and green patches on the face surrounded by white and black. The breast is light brown, speckled with black; the sides are finely vermiculated bluish-gray. The scapulars are long and taper to a point, buff lined with black and chestnut. The bill is dark gray to black, legs and feet gray.
Once, they were very common, now declining in large numbers throughout its range. However, in it is a common species in captivity and a much sought after aviary bird. It is a hardy species but should not be kept with larger, aggressive species.
Average length: 15"-17"
Average weight: M .96 lbs., F .95 lbs.
Almost all ringed teal nests are in holes or other
cavities in trees. The nest is lined with down. The
incubation period is about 29 days. Both the male and
female take turns incubating the eggs and caring for
the young. Hatching is timed to the weather and food
availability, synchronizing with the best conditions.
Like all Antacids, wood duck chicks are precocial. They
are distinguished from other species by little,
pointed claws and long stiffened tail feathers.
The plumage of the ducklings needs to be water
repellant when they leave the nest. They get the
necessary oil as they rub against their mother's
abdominal plumage. They are called from the nest a day
or two after hatching.
The mother leaves the nest with a lot of calling.
The chicks peep anxiously and size up their plunge.
They bounce and tumble on hitting the ground, but are
seldom injured. Sometimes the nest over-hangs water
and the chicks do a splash-down. They eat on their
own, taking aquatic vegetation and insects as
demonstrated by the adults. They can fly some 50 to 55
days after hatching and follow the adults to the
winter feeding grounds. They join juvenile groups
during winter and participate in social displays,
during which time mates are chosen.
The ringed teal have fairly long toes and strong, sharp toe-nails, the better to sit un-duck-like in trees. The webbed feet support the bird on mud and floating vegetation and, of course, allow for easier swimming. Surface feeding ducks are differentiated from diving ducks, but that does not mean that surface ducks do not dive. They can and do, especially to escape predators. If they do dive, however, they seldom go below four feet.
Ringed Teal are "puddle ducks," surface feeding ducks also known as dabblers. Dabblers obtain their food by up-ending, immersing the head, neck and front of the body under water with the tail in the air. They maintain this position with foot action, grazing on submerged bottom plants. Dabbling is also known as
While swimming, they hold their tail horizontally so it does not touch the surface of the water. After dabbling, they flap their wings vigorously a few times to shake out any water that might have entered the wing pockets and other air spaces.
Like all wood ducks, the ringed teal's gait is peculiar, giving the effect of limping because they nod on only every other step.
Ringed teal live in South America, from southern Bolivia, Paraguay and southwestern Brazil to northeastern Argentina and Uruguay in wooded habitats.
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Baikal Teal Drake
Baikal Teal Drake
Baikal Teal Hen